How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Make?


When you work in a commission-based field, like real estate, your pay is directly tied to the amount of money you make. Some agents enjoy the flexibility of a salary-based job, while others grind every day to bring home that big commission check. No matter what route you take, a New York real estate agent can earn a decent income, especially after the first year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the national median income for a real estate agent is $51,220 per year in 2021. The top 10% of real estate agents make more than $102,000 a year. This is a solid wage, but the potential to increase your income after the first year in this career path is almost unlimited. There are some simple strategies that can boost your earnings.

Unlike a salaried position, which pays you based on your level of seniority and the number of hours you work, in real estate, you are paid on the basis of successful transactions. That means the more you sell, the higher your commission rate will be. For example, a top-producing agent may earn up to 6% of the sales price of each property they sell. Read more

This rate is split between the agent and the broker under whom they work. The actual split is negotiated and can be 50/50, 60/40 or whatever ratio both parties agree to. The remaining portion is paid to the agent, who typically shares it with their buyer’s agent or the listing agent with whom they are working on the transaction.

A large percentage of an agent’s earnings come from obtaining clients to list properties. This can be done through a variety of means, including cold calling, social media marketing, and networking. The use of a real estate sphere of influence (SOI) strategy is also an effective way to generate leads. This involves contacting acquaintances, classmates, family members and business associates to find buyers for homes listed by the agent.

In addition to finding clients, an agent must also cover the costs of running a business, such as real estate license fees, insurance and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) dues. These expenses can chip away at an agent’s commission, reducing their total earnings.

If you’re considering becoming a New York real estate agent, it’s important to understand the earning potential of this career path before getting your license. If you do your research, put in the time and effort and follow some of the tips in this article, you can become a top-producing real estate agent who is making six figures or more. That kind of money is enough to give anyone a good head start on their retirement savings! If you’re interested in learning more about the real estate industry, check out our blog on How to Get Your Real Estate License and What to Expect from Your First Year as a Real Estate Agent. You can also enroll in our pre-licensing courses online to start your new career with confidence.


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